Behind the Seams: local street style

Ruth
“I get my inspiration from my older sister”
Lamya and Sara
"Usually we’re flexing but today’s a bummy day"
Isaac
"I don’t like fast fashion, it’s not sustainable"
James and Abby
“In London, you can dress how you want”
Jeannelle
“My heritage influences the way that I dress”

Najib and Shamil
“I’m not big on environmental. I want a real fur coat. Chinchilla.”

Corada
"I get bits and bobs from everywhere"
Jack
"I’m big on knowing where my clothes come from"
Jacqueline
"I’d like to have more handmade jewellery"

Street style slideshow

It would come as little surprise to east Londoners that Hackney emerged as the fashion capital of London last year, with Christopher Kane, Jonathan Anderson and Simone Rocha among the many designers who swear by the borough’s creative community.

Tower Hamlets too draws a large crowd for globally popular Brick Lane, which is home to some of London’s most celebrated vintage clothing stores and markets.

Hackney and Tower Hamlets boasts an immense range of shops and markets for those seeking sartorial statements.

East London is famous worldwide for its eclectic fashion as represented by its stylish residents and in vogue visitors. East London Lines took to the streets in Hackney and Tower Hamlets to find the best looks on those who live in and visit the area.


Shoreditch Street Style. Pic: Chloë James

Corada Wilson, 19, from Bristol
Trainers – Trapstar x Puma, Sweatshirt dress – Missguided, Jacket – her father’s Clench USA bomber jacket, Socks – H&M, Earrings – zaful.com

“I don’t tend to follow local designers much because it’s much cheaper to buy my clothes online. I get bits and bobs from everywhere.

“I normally take inspiration from other people. I went to a fun event at Boxpark the other day and there was a bunch of cool-dressed people there.”


Stoke Newington Street Style. Pic: Sophie Soar

Jeannelle Brew, 22, from Hackney
Jumper – Asos, Jeans – Asos, Puffer jacket – Monki, Shoes – Vans from the kids section of JD

“I prefer to shop online, then I don’t have to interact with anyone. It’s also really efficient – you just scroll, type what you want in the search bar. It’s really easy and you don’t need to leave your house.

“Living in London, as opposed to Hackney, has influenced the way I dress. I’m not stationary to Hackney, I’d go out and see cool things. Sometimes my heritage influences the way that I dress too. With Afrocentric parents, or if I see something that my grandma wears cos she’s Ghanaian and sometimes wears cultural stuff, I’ll take elements of that and incorporate it with my London look.”


Mile End Street Style. Pic: Sophie Soar

Jack Wilkins, 19, from Wapping
T-shirt – Asap x Guess, Jacket – Urban Outfitters, Jeans – Topman, Trainers – Nike, Socks – Nike and Slazenger

“I don’t really have a preference on how to shop. I’ll go into vintage shops and I buy locally like Brick Lane vintage, but mainly, I shop online because you have more of a selection. I would buy clothes from local boutiques if they had the right stuff, which I think is hard to find.

“I’m an environmental student so I’m big on knowing where my clothes come from.”


Spitalfields Market Street Style. Pic: Saman Javed

Isaac Luutu, 25, from Rayner’s Lane
Jacket – Vintage Umbro, Jeans – Vintage Levi’s, Shoes – New Balance, Bag – Barena, Glasses – Gianni Versace, Hat – made by a friend in the UK

“I like fashion to be honest. I’m more like a style person. My personal style is based around the concept of living in your own means. For example, the fact that I go to flea markets are because flea markets are affordable. The fact that I don’t buy things in Dover Street Market is because it’s not affordable and it’s just crooks. They just take money from you.

“Imagine me liking this jacket and then I find out that some women are being paid like £1 to make it. I wouldn’t want that. I care, but sometimes that’s just the world – the world is not fair. Even the women doing that, they need money. I don’t like fast fashion though, it’s not sustainable. It’s not good quality. It’s bullshit.

“I’m from Uganda. I dress because of where I’m from, my background. I’m from a very poor background. All those things helped me as a person and I don’t take things for granted. So my concept is just living within your means, that’s my personal style.”


Mile End Street Style. Pic: Sophie Soar

Sara Hamdan, 19, from West London with friend Lamya Ilou, 18, from Elephant and Castle
Sara:  Hoody – Asos, Trousers – River Island, Shoes – Thrasher x Vans

Sara: “I prefer to shop online.”
Lamya: “In store, in store.”
S: “Online!”
L: “But in store, I can see it, I can try it on, I can visualise an outfit .”

Lamya: “I don’t trust local independent stores. You don’t know the quality. With a multi-national brand you know, that you’ve shopped at and that your mates shop at, you have an idea of how it works.”

Sara: “I don’t mind where it’s sourced from.”
Lamya: “If it looks good, it looks good, so that’s fine.”


Shoreditch Box Park Street Style. Pic: Chloë James

James, 21, and Abby, 22, live in Angel
Abby: Dungarees – her mother’s from Topshop, Shoes – Adidas, Scarf – given aged 7, Top – her mother’s from Topshop
James: Jacket – Vintage Adidas from Amsterdam, Top – Topman, Trousers – Charity shop, Shoes – Vans, Hat – a vintage boutique in Topman

James: “I like to go to the shops and buy and see and pick up [things]. Online, I always end up sending stuff back.”
Abby: “If you go to a shop and look around more, you’re more likely to buy something that you actually give a shit about. If you buy online, it’s not personal.”

James: “I think it’s harder to support local designers when you’re shoved with Topman or Topshop, ASOS, Erdem.”
Abby: “With second-hand bits and bobs, it’s pre-loved and it’s got someone who’s already loved it and it’s passed on to you and then you can love it as well.”

James: “I find in London, you walk past people and think ‘oh shit, they look dead cool.’ You pick up things from other people.”
Abby: “Anything can go cos there’s so much choice and there’s so much diversity that you can just dress how you want and it’s accepted.”


Shoreditch Street Style. Pic: Chloë James

Ruth Anderson, 18, from Dublin
Top – H&M, Jacket – Zara, Trousers – Missguided, Boots – & Other Stories, Hat – Topshop

“Usually, I like to shop in vintage shops and on the high street. I tend to get my inspiration from my older sister.

“I am definitely open to trying local fashion and I would buy locally. But the drawback for me is the difference in the price point.”


Mile End Street Style. Pic: Sophie Soar

Najib Rahman, 19, from West London, and Shamil Ali, 19, from Ealing
Najib: Jacket – Northface, Hoody – Jordan, Jeans – Zara, Shoes – Nike Air Force
Shamil: Denim Jacket – Pull & Bear, Jeans – Topshop, Shoes – Adidas Stan Smith

Najib: “I prefer to shop online because I’m lazy and I can’t be bothered to go outside.”
Shamil: “It’s more convenient, plus you can see how other people style what they’re wearing with other things so you can take inspiration from it.”

Najib: “I would buy locally to support local designers and manufacturers, if it looked good. If I was a local designer, I’d want people to support me.”

Shamil: “I think most of my clothes say made in Pakistan or made in Bangladesh.”
Najib: “I don’t really read the labels, I’m not big on environmental things, like animals. I really want a real fur jacket. Chinchilla.”


Shoreditch Street Style. Pic: Chloë James

Jacqueline Saunders, 20, from Bethnal Green
Coat – her mother’s, handmade in Nottingham, Jumper – her mother’s, Other Jumper – her ex-boyfriend’s

“I prefer to shop a mixture of online or second-hand here and there, when it’s not too expensive.

“I think I buy locally. A lot of things aren’t made in England but it’s good when they are. I’d like to have more handmade jewellry or underwear. That would be really pretty.”

Follow the rest of our series as we celebrate fashion in Tower Hamlets and Hackney with Behind the Seams.

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